So what if you fall and fail?
We’d been in the park precisely 30 seconds before the kiddo scrabbled her way up the climbing frame. As usual I took up my normal position, hovering at what I thought was a reasonable distance. Close enough to avert any disasters, far enough away that she can climb independently.
Once at the top and the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of the Castle’ she turned to me, “Mummy, go sit down”.
Smiling cheekily yet with a forcefulness in her voice she said “I don’t need you. Go relax, mama just GO…”.
I heard the words come out of my mouth before I could even stop them “but what if you fall sweets?”
…and she turned to me and shrugged.
A shrug that said so much.
A shrug that said, “I dunno, if I fall I suppose I’ll cry and you’ll give me a hug and put a bandage on any cuts and tend to any bruises and maybe I’ll just fall and I won’t hurt myself or maybe nothing will happen. But I’m sure either way it will be ok and at the moment I don’t really care. So please just go”.
As she was talking, this quote that I’m sure you have seen all over the internet came to mind.
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
In that moment I caught myself bang in the middle of that desire to protect and keep safe vs the desire to give her the space to fly.
Before I knew it she had scrabbled back down and was running towards the roundabout like a herd of wild horses released from stables they should never have been in. This time I did what she asked, I sat myself down and allowed her to get on with it.
As more and more kids got on, it got faster and faster, the risk of injury got higher and higher and the squeals of laughter got louder and louder.
Of course she had the most amazing time and yes I had to carry all 4.5 years of her home whimpering because she was dizzy and felt sick.
And therein lay another lesson.
As much as I appreciate the ‘what if you fly’, I want to add, ‘so what if you fall?’.
Yes there might be some dizziness, maybe even a bruise and some tears but ultimately you’ll be ok, figure it out, learn something, have a story to tell and be placed on a path with gems the would have remained undiscovered.
And this is what dreaming and doing is about.
Its about going for it even when your voice is shaking, sitting in that uncomfortableness of growth rather than standing still, its listening to your heart rather than the voice in your head that’s full of the ‘shoulds’ of others.
Its about bringing your whole-self to the table, even when you never have before, its about owning those stories that have previously caused you to hide and its about saying ‘so what if I fall’ so that you can fly.
Nicola X x